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100 thoughts on “Is “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X real country music?

  1. The real question is: Is the gatekeeping for Country Music created apropos of nothing by studios/corporations? Or was it created by the fans of it and their fragility and the industry is beholden to the capitalism of and by those fans?
    Given 2019 US politics, I'm confident in the latter.

  2. This reminds me of when white artists were criticized for making rap music. It’s not cultural appropriation when someone is profiting from their own original music or covering a song that gives credit and compensation to the original artist. If you are a black person that buys and enjoys country music or a white person who buys and enjoys rap music. I think it’s more accurate to describe elements or styles of music in a song than to say a song is in a certain genre.

  3. I don’t personally think Old Town Road is a country song, but not in the way that it’s something else instead. It’s also not really a trap song. It’s a pretty even blend of genres and isn’t easily categorized.

  4. Saying real country music implies there's fake country music, and this song isn't either.

    Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker is country, this song isn't.

    This doesn't imply that old town road is bad, I don't care about that. But this is just trap/whatever.

    Also y'all intentionally changed it from "steel guitar, guitar, fiddle, banjo, drums, keyboard" to "all instruments" just to give him an edge.

    Just because he references country related stuff and wears a cowboy hat, that doesn't make the song country.

  5. Dear Say It Loud,
    Thanks for keeping a Yankee Boy hip and introducing me to Blanco Brown. He ain't on the juke box up here in MN.

  6. This is one of my favourite YT channels. Thanks for teaching us so much with every video! Keep up the great work everybody. <3

  7. One day folks are gonna find out about Rhiannon Giddens, an Oberlin trained opera singer who is a folk powerhouse and is also Black. 😂

  8. nickleback had two massive hits on country radio. johnny cash did hurt. you didn't really address the construction of country music as a combination of white-coded hillbilly music and black-coded rock n roll but 50 years of music history in 15 minutes is already A LOT

  9. I think Todd in the Shadows summed it up best. "Should these two styles of music be able to find common ground? After all (1)both genres speak to the experiences of the poor and disenfranchised and (2) both genres don't actually do that because they sold out a long time ago." I've cackled about that observation off and on for years.

  10. Your video programs are great! Great topic. You know, I found out back I’m the late 80,s reading a biography interview inside the Hank Williams Sr box set, that as a teenager he learned how to play guitar and write music from an older Black blues musician he sought out cause he wanted to learn the craft. It was cool to learn that!I still love older country music from the 30’s – 70’s as it’s still so funky and bluesy.

  11. Okay, so we are all connected by music, and I listen to a LOT. I am a Nine Inch Nails fan… so I was shocked to hear the chords of a NIN track, lifted sound for sound, in Old Town Road!!
    Listen to "34 Ghosts IV" by Nine Inch Nails! Tell me I'm not crazy!

  12. Same goes for all the hate being given to Blanco Brown and his song, “The Git Up”. They refuse to acknowledge that ALL of his music is a country music artist. Hello, my fellow #ARMY! I purple you! 🤟🏽💜☺️

  13. Hot Topic goths forever! But yeah no the aesthetic died for a reason and by died, I mean turned to emo then scene and then kandi ravers.

  14. It’s definitely country. I’ve been listening to country and western all my life. It’s more country than some of the other country music being produced now.

  15. Billy Ray Cyrus is about as "Country" as Lil Nas X. Don't get me wrong, I love the song, love the crossover, love it all… but using Billy Ray as your definition of country is not so apt.

  16. I really enjoyed this episode. Music is reflective of the time and place that people live in and is influenced by all the people of that era/area. Ex. “Distinctly "Western" songs began to emerge in the mid-19th century, reflecting the Texas, Arizona and Oklahoma region's unique mix of peoples of Anglo, Celtic, Spanish, and Other European; African; Native; and Central American heritage” https://www.loc.gov/collections/songs-of-america/articles-and-essays/musical-styles/popular-songs-of-the-day/western-and-cowboy-songs/

  17. Had to watch again… 15:30… the music does not HAVE to be deep to be meaningful! Yet more FACTS! The same as any art form.

  18. This video does a great job putting into words why elitism regarding what band or artist does or doesn’t belong to a specific genre is all just subjective.

  19. I'd say it fits into Country Fusion. For Jazz purists, fusion is a stain on our history. It's the same for Country purists (in the modern sense) . But if you really think about it there is no "pure" country out there. It's all fusion.

  20. For those wondering about the Hawaiian guitar bit: obviously the guitar has European lineage from the lute (which in turn comes from the North African oud), but the Hawaiian guitar mentioned here is (likely) slack-key guitar, a tuning system and playing style that influenced lap steel and slide guitar in the continental US. Because country uses both conventional and lap steel/slide playing, it makes sense to shout out this lesser-known lineage for the less common way to play guitars.

  21. I agree with the crossing over part but the song in general isn’t country music. It does not follow the known musical conventions within country music.

  22. It's clearly Country. Apparently Billboard is too white to see it. I'm way over it, partly *because* it's so country fried. It is so *not* Hip Hop, as it's not about being in city life, or at least not talking about country life, and has no allusions to slightly poorer city roots.

  23. I grew up in an era where it was weird to listen to anything that wasnt the standard for ur race.

    There was an occasional crossover song that wasnt very R&B sounding. But bc it was played on the R&B station, ppl would assume that the artist was black bc all the R&B artists were black lol. So alot of times, black ppl didnt know the artist was white until later on. To this day, there are ppl shocked, just finding out that Bobby Caldwell is white ('What U Wont Do For Love') lol. They would make a point to not mention it on the radio. U had to see them on tv & Mtv wasnt out then so there was only a few weekly, syndicated performance/music shows. Now traditional r&b is gone & when u find a something that is reminiscent of r&b/soul genres, the artist is often not even black. The music & voice sounds black but they arent. And every R&B sounding song has to have a rap part in it. Its hard to find modern, younger R&B artists who make songs without some rap/hip hop element to it. Theres like this intersection of a singing voice & a rap voice.

    The crossovers were cool. I always knew that alot of them werent black. I thought it was obvious. Id just be wondering how the song ended up on the r&b station lol.

    Hall & Oates ('Sara Smile'/'I Cant Go For That),
    The Rolling Stones ('Miss You'), Queen ('Another Ome Bites the Dust'),
    The Clash ('Rock the Casbah'),
    Gary Numan ('Cars'),
    they even hid Madonna at 1st with 'Holiday' – then after she got her dance/R&B cred, she skedaddled & the rest is history.

    Teena Marie, however ( & Hall & Oates, too) was ALWAYS invited to the cookout, RIP Lady T. We assumed that she was just 'hi yella,' 'mixed' or 'passing.' I didnt find out that she was definitively white until she did her 'Behind the Music' – or was it the 'Unsung' (1 of them or both) ep. decades later lol.

    I felt the need to keep my music interests on the quiet tip. I was already non traditionally 'black,' & that was hard enough.

    My mother is from the south & so she has always liked country.

    U guys are lucky now. Bc of the internet, u get to easily transverse culture lines without fuss or having to broadcast it bc ur only access to find music was through the radio.

    Unfortunately, modern radio is awful compared to the way it used to be. B4 all the nationwide radio stations were owned by the same 4 or 5 telecom companies & the music programming was computer generated. That started kicking in about the mid 90s. Radio used to be very individualistic compared to now. I was literally a Radio Head when I got my Sony walkman. Headphones on all day.

    B4 it changed, the DJs got to play what they wanted to play. So the same songs werent repeated every hour.

    Like on the show 'WKRP in Cincinnati.' The DJs had more of a local celeb vibe than they do now. Its hard to find stations like that now & then they r usually geared towards old heads like me. Or the eclectic college stations. Sometimes they try too hard to be 'eclectic.' Its funny. 😁

    The rock stations used to do special programming, like '6 sides at six' on a Sunday evening, where they would play 6 whole sides of albums from the albums that they picked (back when albums where a thing & there was no ala carte. If it wasnt a '45 released single, u had to buy the whole album for that one song – so it was a gamble on whether or not u were going to like the rest of the album. U had to really like the band and/or really like the song. And u had to buy them at the store or from companies like Columbia House when they started their mail order music club).

    So its better now bc of easy access & u dont have to buy songs that u dont like. But there is something special about having a complete album in physical form. The artwork, the liner notes, the physical lyrics, no wifi/battery recharging required. U own it. U dont need permission to access it. Albums were more of a whole concept. Hard to do a concept album now unless ur somebody with a well established fanbase like NIN or Radiohead.

    Even if it wasnt a 'concept' album, physical albums had a flow – a beginning, middle, ending. It was a musical trip.

    Now, u just pull the individual songs out of the ethers in a sense. Its different. Not as intimate, in a way. Guess u have to have experienced it to know what Im talking about. 😁🎶

  24. When I hit high school I also got made fun of got listening to “white music” but I didn’t mind! Linkin Park is my JAM.

  25. is no one gonna talk about Adam Lambert???? The most snubbed person ever…. including his genderless album in 2009. This is why I hate music fans, they rip artists apart – when its just music. 🙁 It's sad.

  26. Check out Lionel Richie as a solo artist and as leader of the Commodores. Sail On, Easy like Sunday morning, lady and more. Also “Sadie” by the Spinners. The Pointer sisters “fairy tales“ just to name a few country songs by rnb artists

  27. I feel like Post Malone is more purposely trying to avoid a clear label, but as a way to keep listeners from writing off his work as "oh, he's a [ ] artist. I don't listen to that." when his defining sound is more personal tone and mood than anything genre-defining

  28. I think the main issue is that people think music should be ONE THING when in reality it can be ALL THINGS to everyone.

  29. I want to nitpick here and say that "Fiddle" refers to the technique commonly used in Irish music that was brought here by Irish immigrants. Yes the style is played in the Violin, but Irish musicians should also get some recognition too for their contribution.

  30. i’m with 13 yr old Hallease x i will not apologize for appreciating listening to The Used x Hootie x The Blowfish, as well as Ace of Base x Alanis Morisette when i was younger plus lowkey i STILL STAN THESE ARTISTS!!! especially The Used>>>

    ps Old Town Road is a song that has really changed the culture for the better!! thanks Lil Nas X…x Evelyn x Hallease ♥️ 💜 ♥️

  31. i wish y’all had mentioned how unoriginal these genre mashups are x how they aren’t a new idea bc y’all remember when Jay-Z collab’d with Linkin Park for that entire album with his songs mixed with their songs x the album was LITTY!!! 🔥 🔥 x i think that was back in 2005-06…it was way before it’s time x super influential! like no one was ballsy enough to mix those two genres together let alone sell it x make music videos for it! But Shawn Carter mos definitely did that!!! 👏🏾 👏🏾

  32. Wasn’t The Pointer Sisters first hit a country track that also received its own level of backlash and still having the same debate in 2019…🙄

  33. I love watching to learn about African American things (fellow 1st gen African here). Y'all really gave Seoul Town Road a shoutout. that was unexpected. You could have an updated discussion on cultural exchange in pop culture with Jhope x Becky G and Super Junior x Lisa something as examples. Kpop is a large genre full of appreciation vs. appropriation and sspecifically
    when it comes to "hip hop" or "black culture" there's always an angry mob. im kind of split on my feelings. Do I feel this way from genuine violation of cultural traditions or am I doing the same thing white ppl would do to black ppl straightening their hair- am i just being exclusionary bc it makes me uncomfortable that they like it enough to copy. if you could help me outline the answer or path to the answer that would be great

  34. Ladies, go listen to some early reggae. There is a gospel and country vibe.
    My uncles and aunties who where young in th 60's and 70's love Jim Reeves. They live in Naija (Nigeria).
    It's the same for my Caribbean friends parents etc. I'm a Londoner mid 50s in age. Im with Ray Charles.

  35. This episode really hit close to home as a person that had been made fun of all of my life for likeing all kinds of music. If the music is good it's good.

  36. Long time country fan, and country music has a major issue with mainstream having black artistry. But you will be surprised the industry has no issue with songwriters/background singers and lawyers being black. Anyway I'll still be listening to country music.

  37. I remember an interview with various country artists who were asked if old town road was country and a lot said yes and I only remember one no, and the no was basically "great song, really fun, but country tells a story and this song doesn't" and I remember thinking that, for a personal philosophy, that was fine. Like, people define things differently. But be consistent with it and acknowledge that black people have an uphill battle being seen as valid in industries where they are a minority.

  38. This doesn't have anything to do with this video but I started watching say it loud tow days ago an I can not get enough of it! I love this channel so much, from the deep research to the funny parts to just learning through well presented videos I love everything about it!

  39. Thank you! This is just another thing I love about music. I didnt want pop rock to be a thing but it is. Someone made it, it sounded like pop and rock and bam, it existed now. Whether anyone likes it or not, if Lil Naz says it's a country song, and it sounds country, it's a country song! Love it <3

  40. I am an old. I had a song discman with skip protection and I had to carry my three cd's, extra batteries, and try to hold it steady while I was on the bus listening to Toni BRaxton 😭😭😭

  41. If Old Town Road by Lil Nas X isn't country, then Lose Yourself by Eminem isn't rap. I said what I said. We so quick to let white people in, but they don't let us in nowhere. Black people need to stop being so accepting.

  42. I used to get made fun of so much in high school because I liked "white" music. I'm glad that the kids these days don't have to go through that and music is considered for everyone and not jsut a race.

  43. “The song don’t say anything deep but it’s doing the deepest work in the world…” Bringing lightness, joy and conversations about what and who owns music!! Thank you!! ❤️❤️🙏🏾❤️❤️ I was tempted to replace the cowboy hat I let go years ago!!

  44. Mainly country, but with a lot of other elements. The one I love is that it's been a while since we have seen a White and Black guy singing with each other. That hit me right in the feels.

  45. There is an online YouTuber named Scott Grove that was a backup guitarist for country artists in the late 1980s and into the 1990s. He wanted to play KISS style music, but the money was in country. The guitar licks he played were KISS licks so he was playing music from KISS on an electric guitar sung by country artists and everybody thought it was country music.

    Lyrically, there is no difference between bro country and brag rap once the slang is translated into common English.

  46. For a long time, I could not easily appreciate country music because of the racism associated with it. This in spite of being a fan of the likes of Charley Patton and Blind Lemon Jefferson. The implied separation of genre is a powerful force. To the extent that I denied Johnny Cash was country, because I kinda liked his music.

    Old Town Road is more country than half the hits on the country charts in the last decade. Still not down with the Grand Ole Opry, despite Charley Pride, but music is music; play what you feel.

  47. I just want to comment on the bit. There was a claim that the instruments listed fall into the category of all instruments. But what you listed was more sting and percussion instruments. I mean old-time road still has those instruments prominently throughout the song so it still could be considered a country song. I just wanted to comment on that part. Love you guys! XOXO

  48. -Shania Twain…
    -Canadian!
    -Yeah, but they didn't like her
    -They didn't like her at first
    -They didn't like her
    -She is an icon
    -Mmmhm

    🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦 As a Canadian, I felt that part. Her style of country was my first real exposure to country music.

    Personally, my music tastes are very eccletic and I've definitely received grief and shade for not being super aware of the genres I'm "supposed" to love like (hip-hop, RnB). To each their own I say.

    But I have been under that rock, I've heard about Old Town Road, just haven't actually listened to it. Thank you for educating me.

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